Worst: Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe approaches MVP to let him know that he’s just so mad that Abyss attacked Eric Young, because now there’s no one to stay handcuffed to Abyss because that’s a totally brilliant way to stop a gigantic mentally unhinged dude from interfering in your aggressive cuddle match. A minor best to MVP for acting like an actual human being (and pausing between sentences!), and reacting like a real life boss presented with a real life problem (as far from an actual real life problem as it is). But oh, Samoa Joe.
Samoa Joe alternates between “oh yeah, he’s still here, put him in a match” and “this guy is machine built of violence and submissions and anger and spittle WHY DON’T YOU BELIEVE US.” There’s never really any consistency, which makes the guy who just gets so mad at everything that much more unbelievable. There’s something to be said for a big hoss type whose sole personality trait is MURDERKILLINYA (that thing is yes please), but it just doesn’t work on Joe. His quiet moments are forced and come off as trite, and those in turn make his wrestling as empty as THE CAVERNOUS HEARTS OF THE SOULESS CREATURES EXISITING ONLY IN THE TWILIGHT OF SADNESS GRIMMELDEBOOOO-uh…sorry. Once you start it’s really hard to want to stop typing like Willow.
Let me put it a different way. Take Harley Race. When Harley Race calmly sits down and explains to you that the belt is his, it belongs to him, and no one is going to take it, you know that if you get anywhere near him he is going to shoot murder you and hide your body so well no one will ever find it again. It is terrifying. Harley Race looks like someone’s unassuming, chain-smoking uncle whose ill-advised perm gets whispered about in the kitchen during family holidays. But would I want to f*ck with Harley Race? There aren’t enough briefcases full of money in the world.
Quiet moments of confidently expressing yourself and your intent without threatening to crush someone’s throat, or bust through someone’s wall, or any kind of graphic description of what you’re supposedly capable of, are what make people truly fear you. If I saw Samoa Joe’s baby punches, and then he told me he was going to machete my face until I died I wouldn’t exactly be shaking in my hypothetical wrestling boots. Unless he had an actual machete. Again. Because that happened. And even then, it would be less because BIG TOUGH SCARY Samoa Joe is doing it, but moreso because anyone brandishing a machete is intimidating by sheer virtue of machete.
The positive thing I will say about this is that there already seem to be cracks forming MVP’s leadership. Samoa Joe points out that every time MVP tries to make things better, he just makes it worse. MVP’s story is still in it’s infancy, and while I don’t believe in killing off something before you can even start it because it contributes to the unhealthy goldfish-like attention span that televised wrestling has cultivated in its fanbase for so many years, there’s a very large part of me that wants to stand up and shout YEAAAH EAT IT at MVP because sometimes I am…not a great person.
Worst but secretly Best: That’s totally a dick
Best: Magnus and EC3, or Worst: Again, why isn’t this on YouTube
Magnus asking if “the other twelve couldn’t get out of the Volkswagon in time” in reference to that “clown” Willow made me laugh in an extremely unattractive fashion. Magnus and EC3 big-boy bickering fills my heart with unspeakable joy. Kudos to whomever slipped their tousled-hair tsundere EC3 vs. big bara Magnus fanfic into this week’s script. “Abyss is all I need. And all I’ll ever need.” That, friends, is the sound of a million headcanons going BOOM.
Worst: Needs more Willow
That Willow didn’t pop out of the open locker to defend himself because EEEHEEEAAHHHAAHAHA IN DEATH YOU ARE ALONE AS IN THE RING I AM ALONE I AM THE CREEPING DEATH AND FINE GERMAN ENGINEERING CANNOT CONTAIN THE TENDRILS OF MY SPIRITUAL BEING RIMPITY ROOOO is a damn shame. A damn shame.
Begrudging Best: DADFIGHT
Here’s the official Impact Wrestling description of what happened:
What followed was both shocking and disgusting. Storm locked Gunner against the ropes and smacked his dad around in front of him. At that point, James seemed content with leaving things there, with his former partner helplessly dangling from the ring while his pop tries to free him. Then, just as you thought the Cowboy couldn’t sink any lower – he did. Storm stopped short on the ramp, pivoted, came up behind Gunner’s dad, and smashed a beer bottle over the back of his head. Shards of glass flew through the air as Gun witnessed him crash to the floor. Yeah. For those who didn’t think this conflict could get any more personal, things just hit a new level.
Um, I dunno…I kinda feel like James Storm telling Gunner that he should have died in the war was kinda personal. Or telling Gunner he’s glad his grandfather died so early in his life so he couldn’t see him grow up. That’s…also kinda personal. And it’s also maybe awesome? I can’t tell. I really can’t.
I don’t know if this is where my Impact Stockholm Syndrome kicks in, and my brain says “welp, it’s super over the top, but he didn’t use a gay slur, and it’s not misogynitic or awful racially-motivated hate, so…is it really so bad?” There’s something so unbelievable about James Storm telling Gunner he should have died during his military service that as gross a thing it is to say to another human being, it’s entirely hilarious to me. Asshole James Storm spewing his outdated ideals of masculinity and his obsession with putting things in the trunks of other wrestlers at house shows is the pits, but I am unintentionally fascinated by Gives No F-cks Why Didn’t You Die When You Had The Chance Because You’re The Worst And I Hate You Asshole James Storm.
Best: TRUCK SOUP – A SPIKE TV ORIGINAL
Would I watch a reality show entirely about MizDad and GunDad roadtripping across America to review the Soup of the Day at truck stop diners? Am I forever sad that isn’t a thing now that it’s entered my brain? And why do dads grow increasingly obsessed with the temperature of their soup the older they get?